The latest round of the College Football Playoff rankings came out tonight and the Trojans find themselves at 11 up 1 spot from number 12 last week. The Washington Huskies came in at number 4 and would seem to have a solid hold on a playoff spot if they defeat the Colorado Buffaloes. The Buffs come in at 8th, three spots ahead of USC. Rounding out the Pac-12 Conference is the Stanford Cardinal at 18 and the Utah Utes at 20.
Sitting between #8 Colorado and #11 USC are the Oklahoma Sooners at 9 and the Oklahoma State Cowboys at 10. The Sooners and the Cowboys play one another on Saturday for the Big-12 Conference Championship. One of those two will pick up a third loss and drop behind USC most likely. That is important because there is still a path for the Trojans to make the Rose Bowl.
The Rose Bowl Selection Committee first and foremost wants the Big 10 Champion and the Pac-12 Champion to play their game. If the champion of one of those conferences is selected to the Playoffs the Committee likes to select the next highest ranked team from that conference.
For example, last year the Michigan State Spartans won the Big-10 but were selected for the Playoffs. The Rose Bowl Committee had the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Iowa Hawkeyes to choose from. The Buckeyes may have been the bigger draw (and probably made for a better game) but the Rose Bowl picked Iowa instead because they were ranked higher.
If Washington beats Colorado Friday night the Huskies will both win the Pac-12 and be selected for the playoff. That will leave the Rose Bowl with an empty slot to fill and 3-loss Colorado and 3-loss USC both available to fill it. The Rose Bowl will likely select whichever team is ranked higher. On the surface USC would seem likely to be ranked higher as both teams have the same record and USC won the head to head. There is however the possibility that the Playoff Committee will not be as punishing for a loss picked up by having to play an extra game, particularly against a team that is playoff bound. If Colorado wins the Pac-12 then it seems highly unlikely that USC will make the Rose Bowl.
We will find out the final rankings on Sunday December 4th. You can see the full rankings from this week below.
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|Rank||Team||Conference||Prev week||Week 13 result|
|1||Alabama, 12-0||SEC||1||W vs. Auburn, 30-12|
|2||Ohio State, 11-1||Big Ten||2||W vs. Michigan, 30-27|
|3||Clemson, 11-1||ACC||4||W vs. South Carolina, 56-7|
|4||Washington, 11-1||Pac-12||5||W at WSU, 45-17|
|5||Michigan, 10-2||Big Ten||3||L at Ohio State, 30-27|
|6||Wisconsin, 10-2||Big Ten||6||W vs. Minnesota, 31-17|
|7||Penn State, 10-2||Big Ten||7||W vs. Michigan State, 45-12|
|8||Colorado, 10-2||Pac-12||9||W vs. Utah, 27-22|
|9||Oklahoma, 9-2||Big 12||8||Bye|
|10||Oklahoma State, 9-2||Big 12||10||Bye|
|11||USC, 9-3||Pac-12||12||W vs. Notre Dame, 45-27|
|12||Florida State, 9-3||ACC||14||W vs. Florida, 31-13|
|13||Louisville, 9-3||ACC||11||L vs. Kentucky, 41-38|
|14||Auburn, 8-4||SEC||13||L at Alabama, 30-12|
|15||Florida, 8-3||SEC||15||L at FSU, 31-13|
|16||West Virginia, 9-2||Big 12||18||W at Iowa State, 49-19|
|17||Western Michigan, 12-0||MAC||21||W vs. Toledo, 55-35|
|18||Stanford, 9-3||Pac-12||24||W vs. Rice, 41-17|
|19||Navy, 9-2||AAC||25||W at SMU, 75-31|
|20||Utah, 8-4||Pac-12||22||L at Colorado, 27-22|
|21||LSU, 7-4||SEC||NR||W at Texas A&M, 54-39|
|22||Tennessee, 8-4||SEC||17||L at Vanderbilt, 45-34|
|23||Virginia Tech, 9-3||ACC||NR||W vs. Virginia, 52-10|
|24||Houston, 9-3||AAC||20||L at Memphis, 48-44|
|25||Pitt, 8-4||ACC||NR||W vs. Syracuse, 76-61|
|For more, check out SBNation.com|